West Palm Beach Patriot Caf Initiatives to Reduce Kitchen Waste
Earlier this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) established sustainability goals of a 50% waste diversion rate within the next 3 years as well as a 30% reduction of greenhouse gasses by 2020. The main target of these green plans focuses on VA facilities.
A feature present at many VA hospitals is the Patriot Café, a food service system run by the Veterans Canteen Service (VCS). These meal services, cafeterias, and kitchens are the focus of 2 pilot programs designed to reduce kitchen waste and save on expenditures.
The first pilot program was already tested at the Martinsburg VA medial center from December 19, 2011 to January 31, 2012. During this time, the Martinsburg Patriot Café and other VCS services composted their organic kitchen waste, resulting in an average of 30 pounds of organic material for fertilizer per week.
The success has generated numerous environmental awards and has the composting initiative being developed to expand to West Palm Beach and 3 California VA hospitals.
The second pilot program began January 18 and ended in mid-February at 6 VA hospitals, including the West Palm Beach location. These hospitals are believe to be able to recycle approximately 583,000 pounds of used cooking oil per year and also help improve safety for VCS workers handing the hot oil and kitchen equipment.
The results are being analyzed and the program is expected to be rolled out to 170 other VA hospitals by the end of the year.
As the VA continues to improve their facilities and reduce costs, these resources can support disabled veterans in the disability benefits programs. With more functional hospitals and additional funding available, resources such as housing, education, and medical care can be expanded.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, a South Florida disability representative from Disability Help Group is ready to help. To learn if you are entitled to certain programs and benefits contact our veteran’s disability rights firm today – 1-(800)-800-3332.